I was in the grocery store the other day with a bag of Three Musketeers in my hand. The Three Musketeers were to be my Halloween candy when I thought to myself, is this really a good thing to be doing for the kids in the neighborhood? Can I do better? I then started thinking of all of the things that I might be able to hand out this year that met each of three criteria:
1. Something tasty and at least marginally sweet and appropriate for Halloween.
2. Something that is easy to distribute and carry and will get eaten.
3. Something that isn’t weird or that doesn’t plain suck.
I don’t want to be the weird guy on the block (perhaps too late) who hands out pencils, so I got to thinking and asking around and here were some ideas.
- small pieces of really dark chocolate
- Craisins or similar individual packages of dried fruit
- Lara bars
- individual packages of trail mix or nuts
- sugar-free gum, Altoids
- bottles of water
- a piece of whole fruit
- an uncommon denomination coin or bill (50 cent piece, silver dollar, $2 bill)
I haven’t quite decided what I am going to do just yet, but I am leaning toward the really dark chocolate and the sugar-free gum (perhaps both to give the kids a choice between chocolate and fruity). These seem like good options for things that I won’t have to make, will likely get eaten, are not too weird, are low(er) in sugar, and are tasty.
Another approach to Halloween for those with kiddies whom parents would prefer not be exposed to so much sugar, is to have the little ones collect all that they can, and then to allow them to keep a limited amount and/or trade the rest of the candy for a present or a non-candy treat. I had a childhood friend whose parents did this each year and he always seemed to get a pretty decent Halloween present. Seems like a good approach as long as there is no workplace dumping that follows.
So, what is your plan for Halloween folks? Are you trying to give out something healthy or just making an exception for the holiday? Are you going trick-or-treating with your kids tonight? If so, track how far you walk tonight with a Fitbit or similar device and share the mileage with your kids. No matter what your plans, have a safe and happy Halloween.
p.s. We just became aware of a Halloween candy buy-back program in which dentists across the country are signing up to buy (or exchange for coupons, toothbrushes, etc.) Halloween candy from you or your kids. The candy gets sent to troops overseas, which will likely be appreciated. If you’re interested, check out the link above where you can search for a participating dentist near you.